With sole possession of first place in District 9-6A on the line Friday, it took Allen just one half to amass the kind of productivity most offenses would be proud of after a full game's work.
By the time Friday’s halftime buzzer sounded, the Eagles had already compiled 41 points and 489 yards against Jesuit — doing so on a staggering efficiency and a throng of big plays through the air and on the ground — all pacing a 58-33 victory at Eagle Stadium in a battle between the last two unbeaten teams in 9-6A.
“We talked about having energy and focus this week,” said Terry Gambill, Allen head coach. “If you have both, you have a chance to have a great game and a chance at having a great play. We focused on things that gave us the opportunities to be successful.
“It’s still a team game, but I was extremely proud of how we came out tonight.”
One week removed from scoring three touchdowns within their first 10 plays against Plano East, the Eagles mustered a similar efficiency on Friday — hemorrhaging Jesuit for a pair of scores in just five plays to begin the ballgame. Junior Jordan Johnson broke off a 74-yard run on Allen’s second snap and, following a 29-yard field goal by Jesuit, senior Celdon Manning punctuated a three-play drive with a 33-yard touchdown run.
Manning’s score required powering through a pair of Jesuit defenders — a common theme early on as Allen physically overwhelmed the Ranger secondary. That was evidenced once again just 17 seconds into the second quarter after junior Bryson Green caught a screen pass, spun off one defender and dragged another nearly 10 yards to the end zone for a 15-yard score.
“We have workouts on Saturdays and working out with sleds really helped there,” Green said. “We’re in the weight room a ton as well, which pays off in the long run.”
Bryson’s twin brother, Blaine, had some highlight moments of his own as well. Following the Rangers’ ensuing drive, Blaine Green notched the longest touchdown of his career after getting separation from the defense and hauling in an 87-yard touchdown catch from senior Raylen Sharpe for a 28-10 lead with 8:08 left in the second quarter.
“It was one of the plays we had been working on all week,” Blaine said. “We realized some of the Jesuit safeties would bite on the dig, because we run a lot of routes like that. They bit on it and it worked just like coach drew it up.”
Ninety seconds later, following Jesuit’s first touchdown of the contest on a 35-yard reception E.J. Smith, Allen countered with a 22-yard strike over the middle from Sharpe to Manning for a 35-10 advantage.
Senior James Griffith took the reins from there, converting field goals of 41 and 23 yards for a 41-17 halftime lead — adding a 44-yard make midway through the third quarter as well.
By the time the first half concluded, Allen’s 489 yards had come in just 33 offensive snaps — good for nearly 15 yards per play. On the ground, that included 12.7 yards per carry on top of 23.8 yards per pass.
One renewed wrinkle that helped on Friday was how the Eagles used Sharpe behind center — running the dual-threat quarterback the most since Allen’s season opener against Cedar Hill. Sharpe posted 96 yards on the ground on 14 carries to complement 367 passing yards and three touchdowns.
“Going in, it was something we felt from an offensive standpoint could add an extra factor in the ballgame,” Gambill said. “That’s something you have to account for with him because he has great, great potential of breaking plays. He adds another dimension to the game.”
The Green Twins combined for 271 receiving yards and a pair of scores — Blaine catching four passes for 182 yards and Bryson logging six receptions for 89 yards — while Manning totaled 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
With Jesuit looking to build off last week’s 41-14 thumping of previously unbeaten Prosper, Allen offered no quarter for a Ranger squad that had a four-game winning streak snapped on Friday.
Jesuit advanced into Allen territory twice to begin the ballgame but was held to a field goal on its opening series and lost a fumble on the following drive. The Rangers needed nearly 17 minutes of game time to find the end zone, and by then, the Eagles had already amassed 28 points.
Jesuit’s best recourse for offense came in using Smith as a receiver, with the highly touted recruit catching eight passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns versus only 23 rushing yards on 10 carries.
“They had been extremely successful running the football so we knew that we had to stop something they do so well,” Gambill said. “We were hoping to get them in more passing situations. They had run the football so well and we wanted to take that away.”
Adding fourth-quarter scores from junior Sam Hunter (24 yards) and sophomore Jaylen Jenkins (75) on touchdown passes from senior Drew Cerniglia, the Eagles look to stay unbeaten at 7 p.m. Friday when they visit McKinney ISD Stadium to take on McKinney Boyd.